So what's going on?
If we really are eating healthier, why are we getting sicker?
Below we explore 4 common habits that have been proven to drastically increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes. You may think these habits are totally innocent, but you will be shocked to learn that studies have shown these seemingly innocuous behaviors can actually double your risk of developing this deadly disease...
Obviously there's no question that eating tons of sugary foods like candy and soda on a regular basis can lead to type 2 diabetes. Dowsing your body with heavy loads of sugar on a daily basis plays havoc with your blood sugar, and over time, can completely knock your body's natural regulating mechanisms out of balance, creating an imbalance that your body simply can't cope with anymore. This is when diabetes kicks in.
But what if you only indulge in one soda once a day? Surely that can't be enough to cause any harm, right? If you eat healthy otherwise, but just love that one can of Pepsi as an afternoon treat, you may think that this is perfectly harmless.
But, as a recent article from HealthierTalk.com explains, a new Swedish study has found that it could be anything but.
In fact, according to researchers, even drinking just ONE soda per day could more than double your risk for diabetes.
Even more surprisingly, it doesn't even seem to matter if the soda has sugar in it! Their findings suggest that sugar-free diet soda has just as much of an impact on your diabetes risk as the regular version. Researchers believe that although diet sodas don't contain sugar, they may stimulate your appetite and lead you to eat more unhealthy foods, which then leads to glucose intolerance and diabetes.
2.) Missing Sleep - Or Staying Up Late
You probably know that getting enough sleep is critical to staying healthy. Not getting enough sleep makes you more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and diseases - including diabetes and heart disease. But did you know that when you sleep actually makes a difference as well? Even if you're getting the recommended amount of sleep, staying up late may make you almost 2 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes!
According to research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, staying up late is associated with poor sleep quality, which can have a negative impact on your metabolism, as can eating late at night, and exposure to bright lights and electronic screens.
If you are a night owl, try to slowly move your bedtime a bit earlier - even 10 to 15 minutes at a time can make a difference over a few months. Also, skip the late-night snacks, turn off unneeded lights, and avoid laptops, televisions, and cell phones for at least an hour before bedtime.
3.) Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics were once seen as a "miracle drug," and indeed, they probably still save thousands of lives every year.
But we have moved into dangerous territory in recent years, and antibiotic overuse has become epidemic here in the West. These powerful drugs are now used to treat everything from superficial wounds to the common cold and flu, even though they have no impact on most of these issues. They are also used indiscriminately among industrially farmed livestock, so that they end up in our food and water as well.
Due to overuse, antibiotic resistance is becoming a major public health issue which is widely recognized among the medical community. Nonetheless, we continue to ask for them on a regular basis, and doctors continue to prescribe them even when they aren't needed.
And now research has found that antibiotic resistance isn't the only problem with antibiotic overconsumption. A major recent study has found that taking just two to four antibiotics within the last 15 years is linked to a 23 percent higher risk for diabetes. And, shockingly, taking five or more sent that risk skyrocketing to 53%!
Numerous other studies have found that antibiotics disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in our digestive tract, thus depressing our immune systems and leading to inflammation and insulin resistance.
It's time to break our antibiotic addition. You can do your part by committing to only taking antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Remember that antibiotics do absolutely nothing against viruses (e.g. the common cold, the flu, chickenpox, or any other viral infection) - they only kill bacteria. If you get sick, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and feel free to try naturally antibiotic foods and herbs, which don't carry the same risks.
Boost your levels of healthy gut bacteria by consuming probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and other naturally fermented foods. And if you do have to take antibiotics for any reason, make sure to rebalance your system afterward by taking a course of good probiotic supplements for at least 30 days or so. (Some forward-thinking doctors actually now prescribe these after a course of antibiotics.)
4.) Consuming Pesticides
If you eat conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, you may be raising your risk of diabetes without even knowing it. In a recent analysis of over 20 different studies presented by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, researchers found that pesticides are linked to a 61% increase in diabetes (64% for Type 2)!
While the link is not 100% conclusive just yet, limiting your exposure to pesticides can only be a good thing for your health. If you haven't already, switch to buying organic foods (which are getting less expensive all the time), and if you grow your own, stop using chemical pesticides.
Considering all of these risk factors (which many people don't even realize), is it any wonder that the incidence of diabetes continues to rise every year?
Take steps today to decrease your risk of becoming a statistic! Stop drinking soda and switch to green tea or water with a squeeze of citrus, get to bed earlier, avoid excessive use of antibiotics, and eat organic. Just making these 4 simple changes can slash your risk of developing diabetes by more than half!
To your health,